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What Is Quora?

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Let’s talk about the most trending website Quora, that has answers to all your questions! Or you could say, allows you to answer the questions!

Quora is a question and answer website, where questions are asked, answered, edited and organized by its community of users! The website was launched in 2009 and a year after its launch, Quora received an enormous funding from Benchmark Capital, worth $ 11 million. The company is headquartered in Mountain View, California. By the end of 2011, Quora received half a million users.

In the year 2009, when people were often baffled about finding answers on the internet, that’s when Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever came up with a fascinating idea! These two young lads happen to be ex employees of Facebook. Post their exit from the firm, Adam and Charlie developed an idea and implemented the same into a website now famously known as Quora. The two co founders of Quora, met each other in the premises of Facebook.

About the Co founders!

Adam D’Angelo and the brains behind the social media giant Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, happen to be school friends! They went to the same school Phillips Exeter Academy, a boarding school in New Hampshire. Their bond was strong and they were great buddies! In 2004, Zuckerberg appointed Adam as the Vice President (VP) of Engineering at Facebook, which was startup back then. Later, in 2008 Adam was promoted to the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Facebook.

Speaking about Charlie, here’s how it all started! In the year 2006, Charlie got an email from Facebook, regarding the position of a software engineering manager. At first, Charlie ignored the mail. Later, he changed his mind and accepted the offer. He worked for Amazon before joining Facebook.

How did the Co founders collide?

However, It was on the Facebook campus, where the two , Adam and Charlie would meet and have intellectual conversations. Over the course of time, Adam and Cheever became best friends! They exchanged ideas and thought of setting up a firm that would make it easier for people to share their knowledge, thoughts and opinions.

Later in 2008, both the intellectuals decided to leave Facebook to create their own startup. Quora was derived from Quorum, meaning a group of people coming together to reach a consensus!  In the year 2009, the Quora website was launched. It took around one year to develop the company. Initially, Quora was compared to the search engine giant, Google. However, people recognized the differences between the two! Google is algorithmic focused whereas, Quora depends on knowledge from people! Even though, Quora is similar to Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, Yahoo Answers, Answers.com, yet works completely in a different way! Real names of the users are mandatory and you need to login to use Quora, either via your Facebook, Google account or Quora account as well.

Adam D’angelo explains, When you look at Google, its job is to find you the perfect web page. There are a lot of cases when you want to know something and a list of websites isn’t ideal. For example, If you’re looking for an overview, Wikipedia usually has a good, edited aggregation of content. So one way of solving these cases is to pull all of this information out of people’s heads and get it into a useful format that can be shared.

Following its success, in January 2013, Quora launched a blogging platform allowing it’s users to post non answer content on their profiles such as images and other relevant stuff. In April 2014, Quora raised $ 80 million from Tiger Global Management. With each passing year, Quora received several fundings and even investors! In 2017, Quora raised $ 85 million in a series at $ 1.8 billion valuations with Collaborative Fund and Y Combinator! Recently, Quora was also launched in several languages including Hindi, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese,Portuguese, French and Indonesian.

Keeping this in mind, what we learn from Quora is, an idea can change your life, literally!

 

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Shaik

    June 5, 2018 at 5:13 am

    Nice ,I had no idea that they have a great valuation.

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Orkut: The Rise, Fall And Eventual Death Of Google’s Social Media Arm

Smruthi Kishore

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Orkut had a strange birth story. Back in the day (not very long ago,) Google was trying to break into the social media world by trying to buy the then popular platform, Friendster, for $ 30 million. However, Friendster was not ready to sell and this move by Google backfired. With no other platform ready for a buyout, Google decided the time had come to open its own platform. Enter Orkut.

The birth of Orkut 

In the initial days of Orkut, it was an invite only platform, where people could join only if they were invited by their friends. While this attracted a trickle of users from North America, a majority of Orkut users were based out of Brazil and North America! By July 2004, the ratio of Orkut users was 2 Brazilians to every one North American user, a case study which quickly created a demographic for this social media platform.

Orkut was so popular in countries like Brazil and India, a majority of the population from these countries thought Google was a subsidiary of Orkut and not the other way around. In fact, the then CEO of Orkut even said as much during an interview in 2009, “If you go to those countries (India and Brazil,) they often think that Orkut owns Google. And you talk to people in Brazil, they’re like oh, Google, you mean the subsidiary of Orkut?”

The rise in digitization and use of social media platforms in India and Brazil happened in tandem with the growth of Orkut. However, despite the numbers being increasingly high in these countries, the popularity just did not reach the rest of the world, a problem the makers didn’t think was a possible feat when they launched Orkut.

The growth of this particular site also happened at a time when the middle class sector of developing countries started discovering the internet and could afford desktops. Unfortunately, the reach was just not as high as it was supposed to be and very soon, a short decade after its launch, Orkut started facing massive problems.

The fall of Orkut 

Orkut’s fall can be attributed to the rise of other social media networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter. While Orkut did have an early launch edge (it launched a month before Facebook,) it just didn’t see growth the way these other platforms did. The moment Facebook launched, it realised the best way to compete with Orkut was by increasing its user friendly side.

Looking at the massive popularity Orkut had in India, Facebook realised the best way to get a hold in a country with a 2.2 billion population was by introducing user friendly languages, thereby making communication easier. With the rise of Facebook, came the subsequent increase in Twitter’s popularity, giving Orkut extremely tough competition.

The final blow of sorts came to Orkut in 2011, when Google’s highly talked about Google Wave started going through a major landslide. A data breach scandal was all that was needed for Google to start losing its edge, a backlash that hit its other subsidiaries as well. Finally, with the severe negative reaction Google kept receiving, the company decided to finally shut down its social media arm, Orkut.

Google decided to shut down Orkut in September 2014, a decade post its launch, attributing this closure to the rise in users of its other platforms, namely Google Plus and Blogger. However, the shift in users to Facebook and Twitter was not cited as a reason, giving Orkut a gallant and respectful exit story.

Orkut’s rise to popularity, failure to keep up with the times and subsequent death is nothing short of a riveting cautionary tale. Stick with the times and grow with the trends. If not, then face the sure ax of death!

 

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Internet of Things: All You Need To Know

Smruthi Kishore

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The world is buzzing about the Internet of Things (IoT) and about what it entails. However, not many know what this phenomenon is or what it truly stands for. In very basic and simple terms, the Internet of Things can be defined as a series of connections that connect your devices to each other through the internet. Still don’t understand what it means? Worry not because we are here to break it down for you!

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things, also known as IoT, refers to the multiple devices around the world connected to each other through the internet. By sharing and collecting data and through affordable processors and wireless networks, the global connection of the world through the internet has now made it possible to turn literally everything into IoT. While we may not consider ourselves to be IoT users or think we own IoT gadgets, the Internet of Things is definitely a quickly growing phenomenon.

For a while now, being connected to the online world meant being connected to each other through devices like phones and laptops. However, the Internet of Things is a brand new revolution in the sense that it has extended this connection above and beyond what was thought possible. IoT talks about a world where just about anything is a part of this wireless world and where different devices can have intelligent conversations with one another without any confusion.

The fact that information can now be shared over the internet has made it easier for people to operate and control several day to day gadgets by using a common interface. From the lights at home to controlling the thermostat, literally everything now has a unique language for communication, thanks to the Internet of Things!

Why IoT is growing now 

When your device is connected to the internet, this essentially means that you can send or receive things and while this in itself is a really good thing, the sharing of this information on a large scale is what makes the Internet of Things so great. IoT can be described as something that enables the following three things:

  • Collecting and sharing information
  • Connecting multiple devices to one another
  • Making your home a complete smart home

The fathers of the internet discussed the ideas of connecting things to the internet way back in the ’80s. However, due to absence of technology like what is available today, this feat seemed impossible then. With more than 8.4 billion devices connected to each other over the internet, the world is very, VERY soon going to be run through the internet, with a brand new language developed for the Internet of Things.

IoT is a revolution and whether one is ready or not, the change is definitely coming. Are you going to jump on the bandwagon now, or wait for the world to be completely digitized? Comment and let us know!

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Lyft And Its Drive Through To Success

Smruthi Kishore

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Even though Uber is looked at as one of the key ride sharing facilities being offered in almost all the countries in world, not many know about Lyft. With a revenue of over $ 700 million as of the 2016 financial year, Lyft secured the second position for itself in this particular section, standing neck to neck with Uber. With an extremely impressive marketing strategy and a plan that surprised everyone since the moment of its launch, Lyft has seen major growth from its inception to date.

The origin of Lyft 

Lyft was initially known as a Zimride and was founded by Logan Green and John Zimmer in the year 2007. The two met through a common friend, when John Zimmer posted on the said friend’s wall, saying he was looking for opportunities in the ride sharing business for long trips. Logan Green’s interest was immediately aroused and he knew he could not sleep till he contacted Logan.

When the two started working together, the first thing they did was to create a business model for Lyft. Green and Logan decided Lyft would be the go to service for people looking at sharing rides when they were travelling out of town. People would hire drivers to use their cars to transport them to their destination and after the drive was completed, riders would automatically be debited for their journey. 80% of the money would go to the person doing the driving while the rest was allocated for Lyft.

Initially, Logan and Zimmer introduced Lyft as a subsidiary of Zimride, without giving it a complete identity. However, looking at the rising popularity of a car service as this, the two founders dropped Zimride altogether and Lyft was the only service they marketed in the year 2013.

The reason for Lyft’s popularity 

One of the major reasons Lyft became so immensely popular was that not only did the founders create a new ride sharing format, they also encouraged community building. Drivers were asked to put fuzzy mustaches on the front of their cars while riders were encouraged to sit in the front with the drivers. This method was not used by Uber so far and because of this unique ride sharing concept, Lyft took off with unexpected popularity.

Growing everyday, Lyft became so popular that by the year 2017, the service announced it would be adding a further 100 cities of the United States to its continuously growing roster. In an industry that was for so long dominated by classic styles and clean cuts, Lyft made a splash with its shiny cars and bright logos.

From changing the way people drove around to turning ride sharing into a community affair rather than just another app like Uber, Lyft has created a niche for itself in this sector. Despite facing several regulations and restrictions just like its contemporaries, Lyft has managed to grow through the years and turned into a billion dollar company not through luck but through its no nonsense and purely business attitude!

While the bright pink mustache may have disappeared from Lyft’s logo, it still plays an integral part in the journey of this innovative ride sharing service. From introducing female drivers for the first time in this field to becoming a unique community, Lyft has really lifted the way people share rides!

 

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